Fernando Santos: «Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench? It was a technical and tactical option» – Selections



The statements of the national coach after the draw (1-1) between Portugal and Spain

Portugal kicked off the Nations League group stage with a draw (1-1) against Spain, in a match in which Morata scored for the Spaniards (25′) and Ricardo Horta closed the scoring in the final minutes (82′) ).

Speaking at the end of the match, Fernando Santos began by explaining why he left Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting lineup in Seville.

“Cristiano Ronaldo? People often ask why he is a starter. It’s the million-dollar question. I understood that for this game it was better to use the players I used. It was a technical and tactical option for this game. It seemed to us the best solution. For the way we wanted to play and approach the game. It has nothing to do with Cristiano’s quality, that’s not even in question. There are moments in the game when we need to think differently. We believed that in the second half he could enter and solve the game”, explained the national coach, in statements to RTP3.

Did substitutions have an effect and improve the team?

“I don’t know. In the first half, if the team hadn’t abused the depth so much, because it was a split first half, in which Spain had more possession of the ball but we also had our opportunities. I think we abused the depth, mainly to reach the more intermediate zone and from there, take advantage of the spaces in the back of the Spanish defense line with short bursting movements. We made very long shots and it didn’t work. do Leão, who is a very powerful player, but if he is always in this movement, he ends up not being able to produce what he can produce and has the capacity to produce. Even so, he created two good goal situations. goal, we lost some connection in terms of connection of the game. In the second half we started well, with better possession to force Spain to have to run more and open more space. er players with more runners to take advantage of central spaces, which is the case with Horta and Guedes as well. Even to explore the flanks. This worked, not least because it later allowed the entry of the wingers, as was the case with Cancelo. The team has several solutions”, he concluded.

By Record


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